December 23, 2020 Last updated December 23rd, 2020 1,081 Reads share

How To Build an App Like Airbnb – Proven Hacks To Consider

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Airbnb is one of the most popular apps used by travelers around the world. Soon after its release, it has become one of the global platforms and the first choice of any traveler. 

The reason for Airbnb’s enormous popularity is its abundance of options and opportunities for a layman! 

How Airbnb Works 

You go to the Airbnb App on your android or iOS device look for rooms to rent; mind you, they don’t have the standard rooms.
The diversity of rooms available in this app is enormous; from a boat-house to a suit, you can find any room you want to rent, and you just don’t rent an apartment; you get to experience a local adventure with your booking.
The house or a room you would be renting is not a commercial place but owned by a local. I hope this pretty much explains the popularity of Airbnb.

With all these diverse options, the app seems complicated. 

The main question people ask here ishow much does it take to build an app like this?”.  

Let’s list a few factors which could help us estimate the actual price. 

  • The idea of global traveling trends 
  • Airbnb market share and its competitors 
  • Overall cost factors and features 

Current Travelling Trend 

There is a stark contrast in travel trends before and after smartphones; applications like Airbnb have given access to the world for every person who has a little urge to travel. 

Traveling was a big deal last decade for an average person; applications with flexible features have made traveling an easy deal! 

Since it is not a big deal, any more people looking for a new experience is the new Trend! 

Visiting the seven wonders of the world is a stereotype nowadays. People are interested in experiencing new cultures and food, creating a new cluster of bucket lists, and Airbnb has always been good at identifying these and helping people check off their bucket lists! 

Investing money on materialistic things is not a thing any more; traveling is! 

Because traveling is experiencing, and it’s worth all the money you spend. Who could hate it? This also means travelers are going to spend and money never matters. The percentage of new travelers has increased by 70%. 

Solo traveling has always been a cool factor, and the bunch of solo travelers is overgrowing, all thanks to the applications which help them. This bunch made traveling a popular culture, and the percentage they contribute to travel trends is high, as much as 30%.

How big is Airbnb currently?

According to the current statistics, Airbnb’s numbers are substantial.

  • 70 million active users
  • 700 000 guest stays per night
  • More than a million hosts
  • 2 million listings
  • Active in 192 countries and 57 000 cities.
  • Available in 26 languages
  • Estimated Market share of around a thousand million.

Competitors of Airbnb

There are competitors for Airbnb; this rapidly growing travel format indeed encouraged others to build something similar.

There are many of them, but we are picking the top three.


A newer player, Homestay, is a direct competitor with Airbnb. They focus exclusively on hosted housing. It is very similar to Airbnb though they tend more towards Couchsurfing in that the pricing is very low. Moreover, it is generally a shared room, couch or, bed, rather than Airbnb that can be considered an apartment or guest house.

If you are looking for accommodation with a host, this is an excellent alternative to Airbnb.


Traditionally, a European hotel player, Trivago, has a surprisingly good selection of serviced apartments, vacation homes, hotels, etc. For ease of use, there is not a website that is easier to navigate. When Airbnb lacks inventory, this is the site to check out due to its vast inventory range. It is the best website that provides ample information on rooms, hotels, and combined travel packages. It is suggested to explore it before you go with the options available on Airbnb. You can find suitable hotels and types of lodges by simply clicking on “Extra Filters” and “Type of Lodging.” But there is a point that unlike Airbnb, accommodations available on this site don’t have hosts.


One of the largest providers of vacation rentals on the list, HomeAway, has over a million rentals, apartments, cabins, and cottages. It is created with worldwide inventory and runs several brands, including VRBO,, Travelmob, Homelidays. OwnersDirect and many more around the globe.
All of them have the same booking policies; unlike Airbnb, travelers will likely not be interacting with the owners/hosts of the property.

Your application must have engaging content to attract the audience. You can check out the guide to know the best ways to create engaging content for mobile apps.

Overall Cost Factors and Features for an Application Like Airbnb

Some factors play an essential role in influencing the overall cost of the application. You can go with different modes to craft it, which is likely to project onto the Airbnb app’s development cost.

Aspects to consider and keep in mind:

  • Size of the development team: keep your team short and try to be a part of your team to guide the team on what you want to achieve.
  • Consider all the platforms: We all know how competitive and both iOS and Android applications are. Creating an app targeting your audience should be considered forehand, and you should also know that it takes 20% more time to create an android app than an iOS application.
  • The technical complexity of the features: It all depends on what you want in your mobile application, be it features, options, etc.; keep in mind the more options you opt for, the longer the procedure is for development.
  • Design: it always depends on a custom portal or a standard portal; a custom portal will surely take more time.

Let’s estimate how much each feature will cost you in developing an app like Airbnb.

Basic Steps

Every project starts with the necessary steps. Without this, the application development process is impossible to begin. It’s estimated a week for an application like Airbnb, In which

  • 2-3 days for project setup
  • A day or two for API implementation
  • Another day for the database model
  • Another day or two for implementing services and libs.

We are estimating a range of $2200 – $ 2700.


When you are starting any application, a user must be registered. By doing this, you are agreeing with the policy of use and confirm your registration information.
The estimation of a day is $6000 for this process.

Personal Profile

At this part of the process, users will create their profiles, in which there are two types of profiles: the Host and the other is a Guest.

The user adds the below information

  • Full name
  • Sex
  • DOB
  • Email ID
  • Phone number
  • Place of origin
  • Personal description

Also, some optional information they could add.

An estimation of 2 working days is $1000 for the development part of this feature.


After registering yourself in Airbnb, you’ve got two ways to choose. If you’re a guest, you can start searching for a suitable host, or if you’re a host, you can add your property.

Being a host requires some information, like house type (an apartment or just a room), price, photos, etc.

Being a guest, you have some options to choose the best host; there is much filter that helps you choose your room or an apartment.

  • Visiting city
  • Check-in and check-out dates
  • No of guests
  • Room type
  • Price range
  • Size of the place
  • Amenities, and much more

It is estimated around 1-3 days for development and $1000-1300.

Showcasing the Variations of the Room Stay

Soon after filtering, one would click on the property he/she likes; the information they would want to see is

  • Photos
  • Description
  • Rating
  • Reviews
  • Location in the Map
  • Price
  • Terms and conditions

It should also have a calendar where-in they could check the dates in which the property is available.
It takes around $9000 to create a page like this.

Other Features

Features like inviting friends, adding properties to favorites, and translation are as crucial as the other features.

These features should never be considered optional, but they should be implemented as mandatory.

They don’t just give more options, but they help people who want to come back later for another session.

These options usually take 4-7 days to develop with an estimated cost for development of $1500-1700.


One of the most important features, where a user would not be interested in your app without this is the Map.

Maps give a good sense of direction and information that a text or a picture cannot give; for that reason, a map is needed if you want your application to be successful.

In the picture below, you can see the Map on the right showing where precisely the apartment or room is, and it also displays the property’s price.

It usually takes about a day or two to implement maps and at the cost of about $500-800.

Messaging Portal

This feature will be a plus for your application; you don’t have to rely on third-party applications to support it. It would be a complete hassle coping up with a third-party app.

Having your messaging tool will help you keep the customer and host; this will help you monitor spam and build loyalty among customers by eliminating bad hosts or guests.

It is estimated that it would take 5-7 days for development at the cost of $1500-2000.

Accounts and Settings

As mentioned earlier, you could rent out your place for rent; for this, a user should have an account, but a guest doesn’t have to.

The account contains information on your property and its cost for renting and user ratings.

Also setting column is for both guests and hosts, where-in there would be information and access to

  • Push and SMS notifications
  • Wish lists and favorites
  • Currency, country, and language settings
  • Paid-up month.

Setting up both the features is estimated at a time of 10-14days and a price of $5000-$7000.

Backend Development

Perhaps the most crucial part is your application’s server setup; it is quite impossible to create an application with a functional set a little bit more than the minimum without the back-end development.

For something like Airbnb, a flagship application for traveling, it is a time-consuming process, don’t be surprised with the hours it will be consuming.

Setting up the backend would require 8-12 weeks and at the cost of $25000 – $30000.

All right! So here we are to find the answer to the most critical question.

Ready To Build Your App Like Airbnb?

After summing up all the estimations, we end up somewhere close to $50 000 – $60000.

Well, it’s just an estimation, and many factors would play an essential role in the actual process. Factors that include the team’s size are developing, plan of execution, a combination of features, etc.

If you need more help regarding the estimation of any of your brilliant ideas, please drop your queries. Don’t forget to send your valuable feedback and comments.

AirBnb iPhone App -DepositPhotos

Mohit Maheshwari

Mohit Maheshwari

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